UPDATE 13:35 pm IST: Actor Gajendra Chauhan took charge as the Chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) on Thursday amidst police presence on campus as student protests continued.
Chauhan chaired his first FTII Society meeting even as several students shouted "Go back, go back" and clashed with the police.
Even as Gajendra Chauhan was set to take charge as the chairman of Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), the police lathicharged the students protesting against the move on Thursday. At least 20 of them have been detained.
The BJP member and actor was appointed as the chairman of FTII in June last year, leading to massive protests by students and several prominent filmmakers who accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to put a political figure in charge of the premier institution.
Students had planned protests for Thursday as Chauhan was to chair his first FTII Society meeting. The students had clashed with the police outside the FTII campus on Thursday before 20 of them were detained, ANI news agency reported.
Chauhan, who is best known for his role on the TV show Mahabharata, had been undeterred by the protests and said he was only working on the government's orders.
"I have been ordered by the government and I will do my job. Let me go there and see. I can't comment on what they will do, but I am ready to do my job," Gajendra Chauhan was quoted as saying on Wednesday by IANS.
The police had issued warnings to 17 students over joining protests, as they had been booked last August for "forcibly confining" FTII Director Prashant Pathrabe.
The protests by students had led to academic activities on the FTII campus coming to a halt for 139 days last year.
The strike had been called off in October 2015, but students said they continue to protest the appointment of Chauhan.
"Although we withdrew our strike in October, we never accepted appointments of mediocre people on the FTII Society. We continue to oppose them," a student told The Indian Express.